REBIRTH AND REINCARNATION IN RIG VEDA! (Post No.10163)

REBIRTH PICTURE FROM WIKIPEDIA

WRITTEN BY LONDON SWAMINATHAN

Post No. 10,163

Date uploaded in London – 2 OCTOBER  2021         

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REBIRTH AND REINCARNATION IN RIG VEDA! (Post No.10163)

(A reader has sent me a question asking whether it is true that Hindus got the concept of Rebirth and Karma theory from Buddhism and Jainism. Here is my reply; I will give it in Tamil as well)

Rig Veda is the oldest book in the world dated between 1500 BCE and 4000 BCE. It has references to rebirth, and transmigration of soul. Buddhism and Jainism borrowed it from Hindus and blown it out of proportion.

Hindus believed in four values Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. Other oriental religionists followed them, but their scriptures don’t approve them in crystal clear terms. Hindus did value them proportionately and practised them in four stages of life Brahmacharya, Grahastha asrama, Vanaprastha and Sanyasa. If we need examples, we have lots in the Mahabharata, oldest and longest epic in the world, and 2000 year old Sangam Tamil literature.

If anyone says that these concepts of Rebirth, Karma Theory and Reincarnation came from Buddhism or Jainism, that means they did not study Brhad Aranyaka Upanishad (The Big Forest Treatise). Buddha took the words Nirvana, Karma etc from this Upanishad which is dated 850 BCE even by the white skinned, Yellow eyed/jaundice eyed, ill motived, non-believers of the West.

Before giving evidence from the Vedas and Upanishads I wanted to alert Hindus about dating. Hindu calendars very clearly date the beginning of Kaliyuga in 3102 BCE. Hindu inscriptions support this in at least two or three very early inscriptions. Bhagavad Gita and its source book Mahabharata give thousands of references to rebirth and Karma theory. If we don’t believe the Hindu dating and believe the date given by Anti Hindu non -believers, it is our fault.

But I admit that all Hindu scriptures were ‘updated’ in language, style and contents from time to time, but yet we can clearly see the original idea or concept in it. Foreigners took the latest updated word and dated them. But they did not do it to Hebrew or Greek literature or Sumerian or Egyptian literature. If anyone studies them, we can see there is controversy in every literature.  When we compare the volume of such literature there is nothing in Greek or Hebrew before the period of Brhad Aranyaka Upanishad. Vedas were very old compared to them.

Before going any further, I wanted to give you one more bit of information. There are many funeral hymns in the Rig Veda. No one could understand them fully.  White skinned people added notes now and then such as ‘they are obscure’, ‘the meaning is not certain’; ‘they may be taken from elsewhere and attached here’; ‘they are jumbled’, ‘they may be later additions’. None of them are the words of Sayana, but they alleged that they follow Sayana in translations.

Sayana himself came just 700 years before our time. But Vedas are at least 3000 years before him. No one could understand them fully.

xxx

Evidence from the Rig Veda

The word ‘Amrtam’ occurs in the Rig Veda hundreds of times. The meaning is very clear. It gives eternal life. Where ? You are with God or in Heaven for ever. That means you are not reborn; you are out of the Samsara Chakra- the cycle/wheel of birth and death.

xxx

‘Rebirth is even offered as a reward’ – says Satapata Brahmana (SB. 1-5-3-14); dated 800 BCE by foreigners; well before Buddha and Mahavira.

Later Puranas claim that even the Devas (angels in the heaven) long for a life on earth, in the holy country of Bharat.

Xxx

Agni consumes only the body, and the departed soul, ‘the unborn part’ (RV. 10-16-4) issues forth as from the father or mother (SB 2-2-4-8) furnished with a body, all lustrous (RV.10-56-1) and free from imperfections (Atharva Veda. A.V.6-120-3)

Xxx

Heaven is full of light

All the funeral hymns talk about dead body travelling as Light.

The heavenly delights are described in RV.9-113- 7 to 11

“There are eternal light and swift waters; there movement is unrestrained; there is spirit food and satiety; there are joy, glee, gladness and the fulfilment of all desires.

A few more heartening touches are added by other texts :-

RV 10-135-7

AV.3-29-3; 4-34

SB. 14-7-1-32/33

Agni (after cremation) carries the newly departed to this place RV 10-154-2 to 5.

Xxx

What is Hell?

In contrast to heaven, Hell is described as

‘Deep place’, ‘endless abyss’, ‘intangible darkness’ (RV.4-5-5; 7-104-3 and 7

‘Lowes’t, ‘black’, ‘blind darknes’s – AV.8-2-24;5-30-11; 9-2-10

We find the word ‘Naraka, Naraka loka’ in Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda.

Torments of Hell are touched in in AV. 5-19 and described in greater detail in SB. 2-6-1 and JB.1-42-4

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Punya in bank account

You earn more punya – currency notes given for your  good deeds- and save them in your account; you will be using this currency in Heaven.

Merits of sacrificial and charitable acts accrue to the departed in heaven (RV.10-14-8; VS 18-64).

Karma appears in AV.

Xxx

Rebirth in RV

Macdonell sees probable germ of metempsychosis ( the  transmigration at death of the soul of a human being or animal into a new body of the same or a different species.) in RV 10-16-3 where the departed spirit is asked to go, among other places, to the plants and stay there with bodies.

Growing belief in Rebirth becomes evident in the Brahmanas (SB and TB).

Words like ‘Punar Mrtyu’ ( re death)  and ‘Punar asu’ ( coming to life again)

, ‘Punar Aayaath’ (rebirth) in GB.

All brahmanas are dated before Buddha and Mahavira.

Departed soul is asked ‘to come home again’ in RV.10-14-8

And Agni is supplicated to see that he may assume life and obtain progeny in RV.10-16-5

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Quotes in Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita

A lot of quotes about Karma and Rebirth are in the Upanishads. Bhagavad Gita summarises it beautifully well in its second chapter. Most of the Hindu devotees know them. Sangam Tamil literature, mostly secular in contents, which came after all these books, also refer to rebirth, Punya, Papa, Hell, Heaven etc. Later Tamil Devotional scriptures have innumerable references to karma theory and rebirth.

Even beggars’ folk songs refer to them and they go from house to hose or street to street begging for alms!

xxx

Warning to sceptics

Hindu literature is vast; the religious scriptures available in Sanskrit, are incomparably vast. If we draw a line in 850 BCE, there is none in other religion. You may find them in ‘Museum Religions’ or ‘Fossil Religions’ such as Sumerian, Babylonian and Mayan. Coming to Hebrew Bible or scriptures , they are later than the 20,000 mantras of four Vedas. And unlike Vedas, they have contradictory and conflicting matter. We know about the Dead Sea scrolls and the untranslated Greek Bible in the British Library. If it is translated, they fear a Pandora’s Box will be opened. We also know that Moses , who is the foundation rock of three Semitic religions, has no archaeological or historical proof. Hindus have their proof in Sarasvati- Indus River Bank Civilization (Harappan) from 2500 -1700 BCE.

—subham–

  TAGS- REBIRTH , REINCARNATION , KARMA THEORY, RIG VEDA

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1 Comment

  1. ramdaus

     /  October 3, 2021

    Marvelous! Can’t wait to read it in Tamil..

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